UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Information and Control: Inventing the Communications Revolution in Post-War Britain

Ward, JW; (2018) Information and Control: Inventing the Communications Revolution in Post-War Britain. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

[img]
Preview
Text
Ward_12092965_thesis Copyright Material Removed.pdf

Download (4MB) | Preview

Abstract

This thesis undertakes the first history of the post-war British telephone system, and addresses it through the lens of both actors’ and analysts’ emphases on the importance of ‘information’ and ‘control’. I explore both through a range of chapters on organisational history, laboratories, telephone exchanges, transmission technologies, futurology, transatlantic communications, and privatisation. The ideal of an ‘information network’ or an ‘information age’ is present to varying extents in all these chapters, as are deployments of different forms of control. The most pervasive, and controversial, form of control throughout this history is computer control, but I show that other forms of control, including environmental, spatial, and temporal, are all also important. I make three arguments: first, that the technological characteristics of the telephone system meant that its liberalisation and privatisation were much more ambiguous for competition and monopoly than expected; second, that information has been more important to the telephone system as an ideal to strive for, rather than the telephone system’s contribution to creating an apparent information age; third, that control is a more useful concept than information for analysing the history of the telephone system, but more work is needed to study the discursive significance of ‘control’ itself.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Information and Control: Inventing the Communications Revolution in Post-War Britain
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Third party copyright material has been removed from ethesis.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Science and Technology Studies
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10049443
Downloads since deposit
620Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item